When to Throw Out Your Beauty Products

When to Throw Out Your Beauty Products

How can you tell if your beauty products are still fresh to use? With food, you can tell it is ready for the bin when it rots and smells. With skin care and cosmetics, it’s a little bit harder to determine.

Depending on the product, when it is untouched and unexposed to air, it can last for up to 3 years. But as a general rule, any product especially a natural and organic products will start to loss it’s effectiveness after 1 and 1/2 years or so on the shelves.

Cosmetics are even more sensitive to environmental factors where product deterioration is even more rapid. Bacteria, mold and yeast will start growing immediately from the first time you start using the makeup product.

To help you figure out when all your beauty products are ready for the disposable bin and how to keep your products in tip-top condition for longer use, we go to a few experts with their tips and advice on proper skin care and cosmetic use. We asked 2 beauty consultants – Valarie Elmore (Lushes Beauty Spa Director) and Jodie Horman (Home smart Beauty Editor).


When to Toss our your skin care and cosmetic products?

Tip 1: If it smells throw it out. Like food, when the product begins to smell bad, it is a sign that the product is rotting and it’s time for the waste disposal.

Tip 2: When the product starts to separate (solids at the bottom/fluids at the top), it’s time to throw it away.

Tip 3: When you develop allergies. Any product whether new or old, if you start getting rashes and itchy patches, then it’s time for the sin bin.

How to Prolong your Skin care and cosmetic products?

Tip 1: Keep your hands away. Your hands are covered with germs and bacteria, when you touch the beauty products with your hands, you are transferring the germs over and gradually they multiply until it becomes a bacteria farm. a free-radical magnet and wreak havoc on your skin rather than help [it],” she says.

Tip 2: Keep the air way. Air can kill the product by drying it out and increase the chance of bacteria from growing. Keep lids air tight and preferrably, use a product with a pump action so you won’t need to be opening and closing the lid as often.

Tip 3: Keep it away from the bathroom. Steam and moisture from the bathroom is the perfect environment for the nasty bacteria and yeast to develop. Having products in the bathroom can slash the shelf life of the product in half.

Products that last for up to 3 Years

Body lotions –┬áIt can last a long time provided you keep the product air tight.

Perfumes – Alcohol is the perfect preservative and perfumes if kept air tight in a bottle can last for even 4 – 5 years.

Products that last for up to 2 Years

Shampoo and conditioner

Hairstyling products

Body Cleansers and Soap Bars

Products that Last for up to 1 Year

Eyeshadow – This really depends on how you are applying the product. If you are using a clean sterile brush each time, then yes, it can last up to a year. However if you are use a dirty bacteria ridden brush, you’ll be lucky that the eyeshadow will last even 6 months.

Bath oils and shower gels

Sunscreen – The “active ingredients” will normally remain effective for 12 months after it is opened, if kept in a cool place. Keep it out of the sun, the car and away from the heat. High temperatures will alter the effectivness of the sunscreen.

Foundation and blush powder – typically last up to 12 months as long as you are using clean brushes and sponges to apply them. Again, keep hands away.

Anti-aging creams and serums, acne treatments and moisturizers are formulated to be the most effective for 12 months. After this allotted time, the efficacy levels start to diminish and the product starts to slowly stop working.

Products that Last for up to 6 months.

Lipstick and lip gloss – Your lips has dead skin and covered with saliva which contributes to bacteria growth. Throw your lip balm out every 6 months.

Nail Polish
It “can last up to 12 months if you refrigerate it.

Products that Last for up to 3 months

Mascara – Mascaras are breeding grounds for bacteria and it should be replaced at a maximum of every 3 months.

Eyeliners – If applied with a brush, it doesn’t last long. Eyeliner pencils will last longer provided that it is shapened with a new tip before each use.

Products that Last for up to 1 month

Sponges – Good sponges last for a little bit longer. But my recommendation is to use disposable sponges instead, so that you use a new sponge every time. This will minimize bacteria growth in your products and will


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